She said she tried to explain to Hendershott that she was trying to protect him and the office, but "he didn't hear that."

Allen said she mentioned her "scary" incident with Hendershott to the sheriff, who took no action.

In a well-documented incident in 2009, Hendershott blew up at Allen in front of Arpaio, former County Attorney Thomas, and others.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio likes to portray himself as the commander-in-chief of his own army. When questions arose about alleged misconduct within his headquarters, though, Arpaio claimed he was "fooled" by his former right-hand man, Dave Hendershott.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio likes to portray himself as the commander-in-chief of his own army. When questions arose about alleged misconduct within his headquarters, though, Arpaio claimed he was "fooled" by his former right-hand man, Dave Hendershott.
Lisa Allen, Arpaio's longtime spokeswoman
Dennis Gilman
Lisa Allen, Arpaio's longtime spokeswoman

Jerry Sheridan, named Arpaio's new chief deputy after Hendershott was fired, told investigators that he had never seen anything like it. Allen described how Hendershott's face grew red and spit flew from his mouth as he verbally assaulted her. Allen's crime: She hadn't kept a TV reporter Arpaio hated away from Sheriff's Office headquarters on the 19th floor of the Wells Fargo Building.


Arpaio usually slings his propaganda from the hip, but on May 3, in a large classroom at the Sheriff's Office training center at 35th Avenue and Lower Buckeye, he read from a prepared statement.

His typical bluster was toned way down as he explained how Dave Hendershott and others under his command had betrayed him. In responding to Babeu's findings, he confessed to unnamed "mistakes" he had made.

In a somber tone, standing next to high-ranking commanders, including his new second-in-command, Sheridan, Arpaio described how he plans to reorganize his office so that nothing like the Hendershott debacle ever happens again.

Different as it was, this Arpaio news conference shared something with so many that had come before: It was a farce.

If not obvious from the start, the absurdity of the event became clear during its question-and-answer period.

The first twist was that Arpaio released the investigative case file produced by Babeu's office only after the news conference was finished.

One part of the report dealing with Hendershott had been released the previous Thursday, but it wasn't in context. A third of the summary report —the part dealing with the SCA scandal and Captain Joel Fox — was blacked out.

All this kept embarrassing questions for Arpaio to a bare minimum.

Most of an anticipated 20,000 pages of supplemental documents on the Babeu investigation of the Munnell memo still haven't been released by Arpaio's office. The office has been doling them out in dribs and drabs, and much of what has been released is heavily redacted.

That is, there are many questions about what has been released — such as whether those trees of Hendershott's were planted on county time.

Meanwhile, investigators under the U.S. Attorney's Office have entered their 30th month of gathering evidence in its criminal investigation of Arpaio and his command staff. As apparent as it is that plenty of evidence already is in, word from a source inside the office is that Burke's team still has a long way to go before any indictments are handed down.

The first question at the news conference a few weeks ago was why the sheriff didn't order an internal investigation of Captain Joel Fox in late 2008, when news broke that Fox and the SCA were tied to an illegal campaign donation to the state GOP.

"I'm not going to talk about the SCA," Arpaio hissed.

A TV news reporter asked whether Arpaio would resign. That brought out the Arpaio everyone knew, the one who points out how popular he is with "the people." Of course he wasn't going to resign, he snapped.

Despite his assertion that he was hoodwinked, Arpaio refused to specify a single thing he thought his second-in-command, Hendershott, had done wrong.

"Read the report!" he said.

At the time, the report hadn't been fully released. But now, New Times has read much of the material — and Arpaio still won't answer the paper's questions about it.

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